Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Fighting Is Down For The Count

Also, The Soloist Falls Flat, but Earth Is Impressive

by | April 23, 2009 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got bare-knuckle bouts (Fighting, starring Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard), the wonders of nature (Earth, narrated by James Earl Jones), a musical friendship (The Soloist, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx), and some office intrigue (Obsessed, starring Idris Elba and Beyonce Knowles). What do the critics have to say?



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1205373[/tomatometer]

Fighting

Look, you pretty much know what you’re getting into with a movie called Fighting: lots of tough-as-nails dudes beating the stuffing out of each other. And the pundits say that while director Dito Montiel does his best to infuse interesting characterization and a sense of place, Fighting is still a shopworn underdog sports movie. Channing Tatum stars as a kid who’s just arrived in New York City from Alabama; after attempting to make a living on the streets, he falls in with a sketchy character (Terrence Howard) who realizes he may be a natural fit for the world of underground bare-knuckle brawls. The pundits say Fighting is a bit better than its setup would suggest, with a good deal of energy and a dash of gritty authenticity. However, others say the performances are a mixed bag and the script is ultimately weighted down by clichés. (Check out Terrence Howard’s Five Favorite Films.)



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1197228[/tomatometer]

Earth

The popular award-winning BBC series Planet Earth offered some staggeringly beautiful images of life around the globe. If the small screen version was too limited to contain such visual majesty, now comes its multiplex companion: Earth, which critics say is a remarkable document with a timely message. Narrated by (who else?) James Earl Jones, Earth focuses on three mother/child relationships in the animal kingdom, following the exploits of polar bears, humpback whales, and African elephants. The pundits say Earth doesn’t offer a ton of insight, but the images on display are so gorgeous that viewers are unlikely to quibble too much. Plus, it invites audiences to reflect upon our place in the larger ecosystem. Earth is Certified Fresh.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1200804[/tomatometer]

The Soloist

The Soloist tells an inspiring true story, and its stars and director are Oscar nominees. But distinguished pedigree does not a movie make, and critics say The Soloist is too uneven to fully resonate. Robert Downey Jr. stars as Steve Lopez, an LA Times reporter who befriends, and writes movingly about, a homeless, profoundly mentally ill man named Nathaniel Ayers, who was once a virtuoso cellist. The pundits say all the elements are here for a moving tale, and Downey and Foxx give it everything they’ve got; unfortunately, that’s not enough to overcome the film’s lack of focus and maudlin stretches. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Downey’s best-reviewed films, and find out director Joe Wright’s Five Favorite Films).


[tomatometer]MuzeID=1207523[/tomatometer]

Obsessed

It appears the folks behind Obsessed were dubious that critics would be, ahem, obsessed with their film. Hence, it wasn’t screened prior to its release. The movie stars Idris Elba as a successful asset manager who’s happily married — to Beyonce, no less — before an attractive, brazen office temp (Ali Larter) threatens to bring his world crashing down. Kids, it’s time to guess that Tomatometer!


Also opening this week in limited release:

Finally, props to Brendan C. for correctly guessing Crank High Voltage‘s 63 percent Tomatometer.

Tag Cloud

TIFF Star Wars Pixar mutant Paramount Network Amazon Rocketman Ellie Kemper A&E Pride Month Pirates biography Tumblr TNT Film Best and Worst miniseries Toys zombie History science fiction green book 20th Century Fox jamie lee curtis cinemax police drama crime drama toy story cars GoT ITV Elton John TBS El Rey DC Comics Holidays Red Carpet Trivia The CW San Diego Comic-Con Mudbound APB Netflix Apple diversity Winners IFC Films Shondaland zero dark thirty HBO Max Disney Esquire Martial Arts Fall TV Election VICE TCA Cosplay Mary Tyler Moore historical drama golden globes Superheroe Mindy Kaling Amazon Prime space Showtime teaser DC Universe animated Masterpiece Star Trek Awards Tour USA Network 24 frames singing competition National Geographic MCU Binge Guide mockumentary NBC GLAAD Teen cats Nat Geo dramedy Marvel Crackle Stephen King Awards Syfy YA Warner Bros. anthology Grammys 007 finale crime HBO Amazon Prime Video Infographic Logo Tomatazos television Comedy Sony Pictures 2016 Marathons Food Network Spectrum Originals Writers Guild of America Black Mirror TCM SXSW BBC America comiccon technology sequel Polls and Games SundanceTV TLC See It Skip It Winter TV natural history travel theme song YouTube Premium composers Super Bowl Rocky ABC crime thriller Certified Fresh richard e. Grant Paramount PBS Fox News political drama Sundance Now Trophy Talk LGBTQ casting Acorn TV Disney Channel Comic Book MSNBC Western award winner 21st Century Fox Watching Series Lifetime CMT Britbox disaster WGN Lucasfilm adventure series Family TV Land book PaleyFest ratings Character Guide The Witch Universal Oscars Music 2015 unscripted Anna Paquin period drama ESPN FOX DirecTV Emmy Nominations 2018 WarnerMedia robots Extras festivals RT History Year in Review Schedule Mary poppins Quiz Columbia Pictures docudrama Bravo dc Vudu Drama Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt CW Seed sports Country Disney streaming service OWN 45 TV sitcom Ghostbusters YouTube Red Chernobyl CBS social media cops IFC Trailer hist Pop anime FX Reality Competition NYCC Countdown Horror Lionsgate Interview nature binge true crime supernatural Rom-Com VH1 transformers Emmys Set visit Sci-Fi Spike dceu Photos CBS All Access doctor who President boxoffice 2019 X-Men Dark Horse Comics ABC Family CNN Superheroes talk show First Look Valentine's Day psycho Creative Arts Emmys Tarantino TCA 2017 AMC Pet Sematary RT21 LGBT BET thriller witnail Biopics MTV Shudder Box Office DC streaming service SDCC Nickelodeon Premiere Dates Podcast comic E3 blaxploitation Opinion Mary Poppins Returns ghosts game show elevated horror cooking discovery 2017 Epix Comics on TV Song of Ice and Fire Heroines Reality harry potter Ovation Christmas Hulu Nominations Musical children's TV spider-man Walt Disney Pictures Cannes based on movie streaming zombies tv talk quibi Film Festival Chilling Adventures of Sabrina kids Spring TV dragons movies New York Comic Con Calendar justice league Action Cartoon Network Sneak Peek GIFs what to watch E! aliens Kids & Family vampires strong female leads TruTV Rock Fantasy facebook Animation Starz Adult Swim crossover spinoff Captain marvel romance Sundance Comedy Central Women's History Month BBC adaptation psychological thriller medical drama The Arrangement Video Games USA Summer war politics FXX cults American Society of Cinematographers spy thriller Thanksgiving revenge Freeform serial killer Mystery DGA Brie Larson Musicals